Friday, April 20, 2007

Is this Offensive?

Yesterday we had Harrassment Training at work. The main topic of the training was breakroom TVs, and how we shouldn't have the TV tuned to anything that could be considered offensive. The clip above was shown as an example of something that we should not watch at work because it included "racial and sexual stereotyping".

What do you think? I thought that the clip was making fun of racial stereotyping. And when we were asked to identify the sexual stereotyping in the clip, I answered, honestly, that I thought it was making fun of white guys who couldn't figure out how to open emails.

So that afternoon we watched "Little House on the Prairie" on break, at least until Junebug joked that he found it offensive.

"There ain't no Indians on this show."

"Yeah they chased them all off before the show started."

So we turned it some ancient game show where the contestants, a team of women vs. a team of me, got to pick from a bin of balls every time they won a round. The men kept winning, whereupon the announcer would say "OK gentlemen, grab your balls!" This cracked us up, especially when they kept grabbing blue ones.

Next break I turned it to the evening news just in time to see NBC airing the videotape of the Virginia Tech murderer. Although we didn't even know until then that a videotape even existed, it was clear what we were looking at. No one talked. Everyone was watching closely. I was still closest to the TV; I realized that I'd better check to see if it was too upsetting for anyone. The faces looked upset, but intent. We needed to try and figure this out, even though it made us very uncomfortable.

As soon as it was over, it was time to go out on the floor. Gary remarked that any random person on the casino floor could be just as whacked out. I was busy worrying about my college students. We both wondered about giving a guy like that his requisite fifteen minutes of fame.

What do you think? Is the Family Guy clip offensive? Should the mass murderer tape be aired?

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